“My movie is about angels, the devil himself,” Smith said. “I mean, express myself again.”
Kevin Smith became clear about what really happened with the rights to his 1999 hit movie ‘Dogma’.
Religious satire starring Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Chris Rock and Alan Rickman is currently “held” by producer Harvey Weinstein, according to the director. The movie is not available to stream online or buy digitally, while rare Blu-rays sell for around $100.
“In order to tell the story, unfortunately, I will have to say the name that no one wants to hear anymore. But of course, Harvey Weinstein gets into the story,” Smith told The Wrap when asked about the box office fate and critical success of ‘Dogma.’
After then-Disney CEO Michael Eisner told Smith he was “not making Dogma because it was the movie’s ‘too hot button'”, Weinstein lit up the movie anyway and eventually sold it to himself and released the movie through his company Shining Excalibur.
Smith said Weinstein only made Dogma knowing he could “do bright Excalibur games with it at the end of the day, and since Disney paid for it, whether he had to pay it back or not, he’d have to do the movie and deal with the consequences later.”
Distributor Lionsgate picked up the theatrical release, with Columbia/TriStar acquiring the home video rights for a limited time before the rights “expired,” according to Smith. Years later, when The Weinstein Company was “rebuilding and almost making a Miramax version” of itself, Smith claimed his film was a “complete afterthought.”
“I mean, honestly, not even an idea. I don’t think he realized he still had that movie,” the “Clerks” star explained. “I don’t think he realized it was out of general distribution or anything like that.”
Smith’s last feature with Weinstein was 2008’s “Zack and Miri Make a Porno.” Ten years later, Weinstein invited Smith “out of the blue” to show a TV series or a sequel to “Dogma.”
“All the people that were involved with it are still there, so we can make a good sequel or a better series,” Smith said. “And I was really excited because I was like, ‘Oh my God, for the first time. The guy remembered me. Like a decade later he remembered that I was part of the Miramax family. And he remembered he had Dogma and he had a great staff and I don’t know, I felt like I Wow, this, that’s awesome.”
A week later, the New York Times published an investigative report alleging that Weinstein raped and assaulted dozens of women.
Smith stated that he was “real excited” about the prospect of revisiting “The Doctrine” but then felt “rude and disgusted” after the allegations against Weinstein (the former mega-producer was later convicted of rape and sentenced to 23 years in prison).
Smith remembers telling former Miramax producer and CEO John Gordon that Weinstein had called him before the New York Times Fair. Bear Smith, Gordon told him Weinstein “called everyone because he knew the story was coming. And he wanted to know who he was talking to.” [to the New York Times]. “
“I was like, ‘That makes perfect sense,’” Smith recalls. “I’m guilt-free, I don’t see all angles. He wasn’t calling because he wanted to do anything with “Creed”. He wanted to know if you were one of the people who spoke to the New York Times. I didn’t, because I didn’t know any of those things.”
Smith previously claimed that Weinstein refused to pay royalties to “Clerks,” a total of seven years before he could see the profits from the now classic feature that catalyzed the trilogy.
After years of interacting with Weinstein in 2017, Smith was informed that a new DVD titled “Dogma” had been released and that Weinstein was trying to sell the film rights for $5 million, which Smith admitted was “overestimating” the film. Weinstein’s attorneys contact Smith’s attorney and ask him to participate in the re-release.
“Please tell that company that I have nothing to do with them, if he is still associated with them,” Smith said at the time. “I will work on a ‘doctrine’ for anything, as long as he no longer has ties to it.”
Smith also tried to buy back the rights to the film, “which we felt so dirty about because we didn’t want to give him money,” he added.
“But at the same time, it’s like my movie and he’s got it,” Smith said. “He’s holding her hostage. My movie is about angels owned by Satan himself. And if there’s only one way out of this, maybe we can buy it away.”
The director said Weinstein “mocked” Smith’s bid, so he stuck to the $5 million.
“Look, I love ‘Creed’ as much as I love the next guy but a) I don’t have $5 million and b) that’s not what the market can afford anymore,” Smith said. The last I heard was from a different company, saying he would never sell me my movie again. I thought what else could I do? There is not much. You can make the public smell bad, but I don’t think this guy reads the news anymore.”
Smith speculated that Weinstein created a “different shell company” to sell Dogma by claiming a “new company” owned it.
“My movie about Heaven is in limbo,” said Chasing Amy’s director. “What’s bad is that he also sits on his chubby ass in my movie. The right thing to do is to sell him back to me even if you don’t want to sell at the price I said at first. Tell us what that price is and resell me for self-expression.”
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